Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 5: Avatar of a Goddess, Vol. 5

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

If you go to Pixiv and look at fanart of the Bookworm series (please god set your setting to all ages), you will find that a good 90% of it is Rozemyne/Ferdinand shipping. If you go to AO3 to look for Bookworm fanfics, you will likewise see that 90% of it is shipping Rozemyne with Ferdinand. And, I assume, if the idea of the ship really bothers you, you’ve probably already dropped the series. And in this book we see that it’s not just fans of this fictional universe: all the nobles see it. Rozemyne and Ferdinand are far too close. The books have basically has as a major selling point that we see Rozemyne’s view of a thing, and then frequently get the noble view, showing how incredibly wrong or off base she is. She’s not a great narrator in the “truth” sense. And we see that here as well – only Rozemyne is in denial about this, saying that Ferdinand is like family, and that she’d do the same for other members of her family. Uh-huh.

The bulk of this book is taken up with the Archduke’s Conference, which normally would not involve Rozemyne, but she’s there to do blessings. She’s also sent to the underground archive, along with Hannelore and Hildebrand, to translate the writing there. Unfortunately, this means that she’s there when Detlinde stops by to essentially Detlinde all over the library, so she and the others have to hide. They do so by essentially sneaking out the back of the library and into a forested area, where they find a small, unlooked-after shrine. Rozemyne being who she is, she immediately cleans it, then goes to see what’s inside… and gets sucked into the shrine. What she finds is that she’s a potential Zent candidate and she gets a clue for finding the magic doodad that will automatically grand power to whoever finds it.

There’s no getting around it, this is a much darker book than the last few have been. Leaving aside the final story in the volume, which seems to imply we’re about to have a supporting cast member be horribly murdered, there’s everything about Rozemyne being a Zent candidate. The problem being that she’s not a royal. And this leads to bad things happening to her and Ehrenfest. Anastasius and Eglantine, two royals she thought were her friends, show how little that friendship really means when the fate of the nation is at stake. Her marriage to Wilfried is annulled, which does not bother her at all, but now she’s engaged to Sigiswald, which is bad because, as Adolphine already knows, he’s a terrible human being. And she has to leave Ehrenfest, who initially are supposed to just accept it and suffer, though thankfully Rozemyne’s inner Benno rises to the fore and she gets some concessions. This whole book is a game-changer, and the game is getting more dangerous.

And, as noted above, there is Ferdinand, who at least is no longer in danger of being executed for failing to contain the disaster that is Detlinde. Will he show up in the next book? Probably. And will Rozemyne stop looking nine years old? Probably not just yet.

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